3:50 PM EST
Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chairman, we have talked about major problems confronting this Congress, and here we are now trying to resolve yet another local conflict.

After considerable complaints by private property owners about hunters encroaching on their land to retrieve their dogs that have gotten lost, driving on their land and that, the Forest Service decided because of the intermingled ownership to prohibit dog deer hunting.

Now comes the gentleman who says, well, we are going to reopen it. We will countermand the locally made decision, but we will have a new process where the private landowners can petition the secretary to re-close certain areas of the area that are now closed that he is reopening because of conflicts with their private property. However, these private property owners' petitions will have to go through the dreaded NEPA process, and that is, for deciding something as minor as that, kind of problematic.

You know, I guess maybe we should have a special day here, and I have some beefs with some Federal agencies ongoing that I would like to settle with legislation, too. Maybe we should have an open amendment process some day where every little local issue we have been dealing with with a Federal agency which is contentious between conflicting users will be decided by the United States Congress in Washington, D.C., not at the local level. That is what we are doing here. It is pretty extraordinary.

I reserve the balance of my time.